Lorenzo Romar: “Until something is signed on the dotted line and it is official you just can’t bank it.”

May 21, 2010 – 8:20 am by timgunter

Collegiate athletics is so competitive that high school players seem to be pressured into giving verbal commitments to schools way too early on in the recruiting process.  These players are young and young people tend to change from day to day and year to year, so verbal commitments nowadays tend to be something that you can’t count on.  A good portion of the verbally-committed end up eventually signing with other schools once they realize that they can play elsewhere.

For the past month, the Washington Huskies men’s basketball program has been rocked by recruits spurning them for Kentucky.  They failed to sign Terrence Jones and Enes Kanter after both top-ten recruits verbally committed to Washington and then reopened their commitments and chose to play for John Calipari at Kentucky.  To make things worse, two more players, Clarence Trent and Elston Turner, have decided to transfer and play elsewhere.  Unfortunately, this has become an ongoing phenomenon and college coaches are learning to deal with it, especially at Washington.  Marvin Williams, James Harden, and Jrue Holliday were all once previously committed to Washington but decided to play elsewhere and are now currently playing in the NBA.  Losing players like that, can really set a program back, but Lorenzo Romar has always seemed to find an answer.  Without Jones and Kanter, Washington’s 2010 class consists of 7-foot center Aziz N’Diaye, six foot-five swingman Terrence Ross, and six foot-seven forward Desmond Simmons.  Although, none of these players were top-ten recruits, recent history has shown that you don’t need blue-chip athletes to win at the collegiate level.

Lorenzo Romar joined KJR in Seattle to talk about how the last day or two has been for him, whether he has learned anything about himself or the recruiting process during the last month or so, and whether he got a sense that Terrence Jones’s decision was made too early and that is the reason why they are dealing with it right now.

How the last day or two has been for him:

“Well obviously you are anxious to hear what is going to happen with any recruiting situation, especially one like this.  The way I see it, it is done.  The guy has made the decision and you go on.  I am still excited about the guys that we have coming in here.  You are talking about Desmond Simmons, Aziz N’Diaye, and Terrence Ross, guys that just are excited about being here.  They are team guys.  They are very good basketball players.  They fit exactly what we want.  I am still excited about that.”

Whether he has learned anything about himself or the recruiting process during the last month or so:

“I don’t think learning anything new as more as just confirm what you already believe.  Recruiting is never over until it is over.  If you don’t know that you are winning there is a sales term that someone told me, if you don’t know you are winning you are losing.  Although we there were times that we felt like we were winning… you move on.   But it is just more confirmation that in recruiting, until something is signed on the dotted line and it is official you just can’t bank it.”

Whether seeing a recruit chooses a school at a press conference is more affirmation than a recruit calling him over the phone for a verbal commitment:

“No, I don’t think it makes a difference.  The whole press conference thing, to me, is it depends on who the person is.  Again, I mean Jon Brockman had a press conference and announced what he was doing and I thought it was done with class.  I thought that he was bringing the entire school and community to homage with them.  Like, ‘hey this is all back to you.  This is the biggest decision I have made up to this point.  I want everybody to share this with me.’  I don’t have a problem with it when it is done in good taste.”

Whether he got a sense that Terrence Jones’s decision was made too early and that is the reason why they are dealing with it right now:

“Yeah, you know I think there was pressure, with everyone that was in the room that day and maybe there were a lot of pro-Washington people there.  I just don’t think that he really knew what he was going to do because time was running out and pressure to do it at the time and I have got to pick somebody.  I just don’t know if that was total conviction at that point on what he wanted to do.”

How quickly it takes to get over something like this and how much this has hurt him personally:

“Well I will tell you that since we have been here at the University of Washington, there have been three other guys; Marvin Williams, James Harden and Jrue Holliday.  I would say those three were guys that you spend some time thinking about.  I would say, at the time right now, this is one that ranks right up there.  In terms of the type of talent that you are getting and what you know that they could do for your program.  That is one look at it.  The other side of it, again, if we had not signed anyone and we didn’t have anyone coming back and we lose out on a situation like that then it would be really, really tough.  Like I said before, the three that we have coming in are outstanding young men , they fit in exactly with what we are doing and we fit in with a team of guys coming back that have a culture about it that it is all about team and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  That allows me at this point to say, ‘hey step back from this situation and look at the University of Washington’s program and say, you know what?  We are heading in the right direction.”

Lorenzo Romar on KJR in Seattle with Dave “Softy” Mahler

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  1. 4 Responses to “Lorenzo Romar: “Until something is signed on the dotted line and it is official you just can’t bank it.””

  2. I think there’s been a misinterpretation of Romar’s comment about Marvin Williams, James Harden and Jrue Holiday.

    Washington recruited each of those players very hard and thought they had a real shot to land them, but NONE of the three actually ever committed to Washington.

    I can see how the author would make that logical leap — that’s why a little fact checking can pay off.

    By Jeff on May 21, 2010

  3. Holiday, Williams, Harden did not commit to Washington. A correction needs to be posted, otherwise nothing else in this article can be taken seriously.

    By Bob on May 21, 2010

  4. Marvin Williams NEVER verbally commited to Washington before selecting the Heels. Check your facts before you publish a story, is that too much to ask?

    By Sam on May 21, 2010

  5. It seems apparent that UK is where Jones wanted to come from the beginning of his decision making process. Unfortunately, local pressure and perhaps concerns about who would be coaching UK caused him to make an initial decision that he came to see was not what he really wanted down deep. Like any rational person who makes a bad decision, he made a correction and did what was in his long term best interests.

    By James Gover on May 21, 2010

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